After breakfast, and after the pots had been washed up, they had set about on the day’s hike. It was around this point that the combination of poor weather, youthful exuberance, and his aching bones had conspired to bring the day crashing down into ruins. He knew that you should lead from the front, but he’d discovered that the lads would get distracted and hang behind, or wander off the path. He told them to walk ahead of him. He would call directions from the back to keep them all on track. It was a good plan. He could keep them in line and get them to wait for him if he was falling behind.
It was as he was congratulating himself on a clever scheme and gloating a little at his colleagues, who had scoffed at this ability to look after 6 boys on a trip alone at his age, that he felt the first pain. As he clutched at his chest, he trod clumsily on a patch of freshly-made mud with his walking boot, and fell almost gracefully to the ground. The wind was knocked out of him, both from the fall and from the turmoil that was going on inside of his aging body.
As his vision blurred, he could see the boys continuing on ahead, oblivious to the faint gasp that came out when he tried to call to them. He’d have to hope that one of them would be bright enough to check on him, and that they would be resourceful enough to work out what to do. There wasn’t a scouting badge specific to this particular activity.